How to Write a Mobile App Description for the App Store and Google Play

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6 min read
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May 30, 2024
In this article, we will tell you how each text block should appear on the store.

Application textual metadata plays one of the most important roles in this process. Not only does good content introduce the product, but it also influences the app’s rankings in stores and in search results.

Building the semantic core

Marketers use the term “textual metadata” when they refer to the title, subtitle, keywords, and promo text, as well as the brief and full description of the application on the store. To make sure a user can easily find the app’s page on the store, textual metadata should contain words that will clearly translate the purpose of the application and its features. The semantic core is a set of keywords and phrases the users type into the search bar to find the app they need. Building a semantic core allows you to find out how your target users could find your product and become interested. Moreover, the frequency and seasonality of the keywords show how many people use certain requests and when.
All app developers want the number of downloads to keep soaring. A safe way to help a user make a decision and urge them to download the application is by selecting the right keywords for each text block.

Mobile app description for the App Store

Title

The title is the main text element. It greatly affects the app’s search ranking and its conversions. The title is up to 30 characters long and can only be changed when you release a new version of the application.

Originality and functionality are the key factors shaping a perfect title. Make sure every word is simple, catchy, and message-conveying. Most importantly, your title must contain the important keywords from the core you built. What your title shouldn’t have is perplexing terms, names of your competitors, or references to other brands.

Whether to include your brand’s name in the title depends on the number of requests for this keyword. So, in apps of popular companies, the user will search by name, so you can’t do without it. Newcomers should remember that an app can get a boost when released on the App Store for each country: special hints will appear in the search bar for the title keywords. It wouldn’t make sense for a little-known app to put the brand name in the first place in the title: at the beginning, they will be promoted by the most relevant keywords. As the app grows and brand popularity rises, you may consider adding the brand name to the title.

Subtitle

The subtitle is the second most important ranking element. Like the title, it affects the conversion rate because the user sees it right underneath the title. Its maximum length is 30 characters, and it can also only be changed when a new version of the app is released. A subtitle is a great space for keywords. But search engines consider subtitle keywords a little less important.

Focus on the app’s functionality and its practical benefits. Avoid proofless features and too emotional descriptions (e.g., “the best app”, “the greatest app in the world”, etc.). Here’s a little life hack for you: To save characters in this compact space, you might want to use “&” instead of “and”.
The title is a section up to 30 characters long, located in the best position and affecting search rankings and conversions. Make sure the title is clear and short, and that it contains the keywords. Emphasize the app features, avoiding vague phrases and clichés. You can edit the title in the Google Play Console whenever you like.

The title shouldn’t contain all-caps words (brand names and acronyms are exceptions), emojis, names of competitors, special characters (“!”, “*”, “$”, “<”, “>”, etc.), and words like “free”, “best”, etc.

Brief description

Another app page element Google Play requires is a brief description of up to 80 characters. Like the title, this text element also affects rankings and conversions. This means that you need to fill in the brief description with the target keywords. But don’t go too far. You can add the keywords you used in the title.

This field describes the specifics and value of your app or game and attracts user attention. The user can expand the block and read the full description. Avoid unadorned calls to action (e.g., “install now”, “try now”, “download now”, etc.). Please note, that Google Play may show brief descriptions in various sections — to help users quickly learn about apps.
Up to 4,000 characters long, the full description does affect rankings. Infuse the keywords gently and make sure the final text looks natural to the user. Avoid spamming and stick to 4–5% density. It’s believed that the average optimal frequency per keyword is 2 to 5 times. But a lot here depends on both the length of the description and the app specifics

You want to make the full description understandable, natural, and message-conveying. To cut it short, a perfect description is a lively story. Make sure the text contains the list of the app features, emphasizing its value. No matter the age restriction, the content must target a wide audience. This confirms the reliability, safety, and convenience of the platform.

Here are a few tips for creating a great description:
  • Highlight the key features of your product: find out and emphasize its uniqueness
  • Use the brand voice to communicate with your audience
  • Don’t forget to mention your app’s awards if it has some
  • Use Unicode markers or symbols (you can get them here)
  • Use Emojis or HTML and Rich Formatting
  • Include a call to action that creates a “sense of urgency” (e.g., “Download and start saving money today!”)
The developer’s name is directly related to textual metadata and affects search rankings. It’s worth noting that Google registers, analyzes, and organizes developers’ stories. Applications with a good history are usually ranked higher in Google Play search.

There are several methods for collecting relevant requests:

  • Brainstorming. This technique will help your team build a group of keywords inspired by the purpose of the application, its target audience, associations, etc.
  • Competition analysis. Check the top search results for the most popular and relevant keywords. Look into the descriptions of the top-ranked applications and find other requests your competitors leverage.
  • Studying search suggestions. Search suggestions on app stores and automatic hints of ASO services may come in handy. Not only can they unveil those high-frequency keywords, but they can also show you the requests that are very likely to climb to the top soon.
  • Launching campaigns with Apple Search Ads. ASA tools allow you to run keyword advertising campaigns and monitor the install rate to conclude whether a keyword should be used in the description. You can also use special keyword selection services like Google Keywords Planner.

Once the semantic core is built, analyze the request frequency, exclude irrelevant and low-frequency ones, and cluster the keywords.

Keyword field

The keyword field is the third important ranking field. Invisible to users, it casts no direct impact on the conversions. It should be up to 100 characters long. A good practice is to fill it with keywords divided with a comma, in any order, with no spaces. Avoid duplicates and forget about special characters (e.g., “#”, “$”, “@”, etc.), unless they are part of the brand name.

Full description

The full description is the field where you can describe the application in detail. You have 4,000 characters. The first 120–170 characters are the most significant part: They are what the user sees before the “More” button on the app page. As you might guess, they will have the most impact on the conversions.

This field serves no role in keyword ranking but it does affect the app’s SEO pages in search engines. You can only edit the full description when releasing a new version of the app.

The description is intended to tell the users what makes the product unique, helpful, and noteworthy. This text should target a certain audience, conveying the “voice of the brand” that the users will understand and appreciate. Emphasize the key value propositions of your product and brand.

Promo text

A promo text is a field with a maximum length of 170 characters that is located before the main description. The user sees 120 to 170 characters before the “More” button. This text block is optional. If it’s not present, the page will show the first 120 characters of the full description.
This field doesn’t affect rankings, which means it’s not necessary to use keywords here. However, good text can boost your conversions. You can update your promo text at any time, without releasing a new version of the app. This may come in handy when you need to share some news with the users. For example, you can announce a sale or a major update.

Mobile app description for Google Play

Title

Full description

Developer name

It’s not just the description text that can convince users to install an app. Visual elements (icon, videos, screenshots) turn out to be no less important. Make sure the text, images, and videos complement each other. Check out our blog to learn how to design a great app icon and create screenshots.

Mobile app description as a crucial sales tool

No matter the country, users better respond to information in their native language, so be sure to adapt all text blocks — including captions in icons and screenshots — to customers from all over the globe. To ensure correct localization of the description for a foreign audience, we recommend you delegate this task to translators and native speakers. This is the only way for you to address all linguistic and cultural subtleties.

App page localization

On any store, searching for an app comes down to a simple procedure: typing a request into the search bar, looking at the icon, watching videos, scrolling through screenshots, reading the description, and checking the rating and reviews. Everything the user can find on the app page makes sense. Every detail contributes to the general mission — urging the user to download your app.

ASO will be effective if you build a relevant semantic core and fill up all the sections in compliance with the requirements set by the App Store and Google Play. Regular updates of each section mean the app is developing, and thus win more user trust.

Mobile app description effectiveness

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One of the important things an ASO specialist is tasked with is designing the mobile app’s page so that the user can easily find it on the store, overview its features, and decide to install it.